Call for Evidence
The Economic Affairs Committee was set up on 7 March
2001, and reappointed on 28 June 2001. It has wide-ranging terms
of reference: "to consider economic affairs".
The first principal inquiry to be undertaken by the Committee
will be an investigation into what is called the global economy.
Initially, the important part of the inquiry will be to clarify
what is meant by "globalisation" and therefore to consider
broad questions along the following lines:
- How should economic globalisation be defined?
Does it mean anything different from an open and integrated world
economy? If so, what?
- Is globalisation a new phenomenon or just a new
- Should the main focus be what is called the real
economy or the financial economy?
- How does globalisation impact on the UK economy,
and how does it impact on UK national and international policy
- How does globalisation affect the major world
- Does globalisation require regulation and, if
so, is this possible at the national level, or will the need for
international regulation be reinforced?
It is anticipated that these broad questions will
give rise to a large number of more detailed questions, spanning
both issues relating to the real economy and financial issues.
These will include:
1. What are the driving forces causing globalisation?
Are they chiefly real or financial?
2. How are firms changing their business methods
and the international location of their activities? What are the
implications of any change?
3. Has globalisation affected goods and services
4. How is globalisation affecting employment
(a) in the UK, (b) more generally in the advanced world, and (c)
in the developing world? What are the implications for skill structure,
job security and income distribution?
5. Who are the gainers and who are the losers?
6. How will globalisation affect product market
competition and consumer choice? How dominant are the transnational
corporations? Is their dominance growing?
7. What is the connection between globalisation
and the communications revolution?
8. What is the connection between globalisation
and labour mobility?
9. Does it matter to a nation who owns its companies,
including UK banks and financial markets such as the London Stock
10. How significant is global banking? What role
should the government play in determining the capital adequacy
of international banks present in London?
11. Are capital and money markets more interdependent
than before? Are international capital flows too volatile? Is
international financial instability increasing? Has market uncertainty
12. Is it important that individuals (and companies
and pension funds) should be allowed unlimited access to international
13. What UK government policy responses are required
in areas including education and infrastructure investments, social
safety nets, and the regulation of financial and other markets?
14. Bearing in mind the last of the broad questions
listed above, what part should international organisations, such
as the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, play in the regulation of
globalisation? Should their roles be changed in any respect?
23 July 2001